Arsenal fans must back Wenger, warns Henry
Former Arsenal star Thierry Henry has told the club's disgruntled fans to keep the faith with manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners have gone four seasons without winning a trophy and a small section of the Emirates Stadium crowd heckled Wenger last season as their team's campaign fizzled out.sports Updated: Jul 29, 2009 01:25 IST
Former Arsenal star Thierry Henry has told the club's disgruntled fans to keep the faith with manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners have gone four seasons without winning a trophy and a small section of the Emirates Stadium crowd heckled Wenger last season as their team's campaign fizzled out.
Wenger, whose side finished fourth in the Premier League last term, also came in for a hard time from Arsenal shareholders who questioned his transfer policy earlier this year.
With Emmanuel Adebayor yet to be replaced after his move to Manchester City, the criticism could get even worse this season if Arsenal once again trail behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
But Henry, who scored 226 goals in 370 games for Arsenal before joining Barcelona in 2007, is convinced Wenger can make the Gunners great again and he pleaded with the fans to give the French boss time to develop the club's youngsters.
"It is going to be a difficult task for Arsenal this time and it is vital that everyone keeps the faith," Henry told The Sun on Tuesday.
"The reason I say that is because the boss still has great faith in his players and if there is one man who Arsenal can trust to do the right thing, it's Arsene Wenger.
"He is the man who has put Arsenal on to the European map. Nobody else could have achieved what he has done there.
"The fans should remember that and give him more credit. Some people gave him a hard time last season and he didn't deserve that.
"I know how those supporters feel. Like them, I am Arsenal through and through and we all suffer when the team doesn't win anything.
"Everyone wants immediate success and after four seasons without a trophy, Arsenal supporters have become impatient.
"All I can say to them right now is to have faith in Arsene and know that the first trophy in five years will be more enjoyable than ever."
With less money to spend that his rivals, Wenger has opted to build his team around a core of talented youngsters.
Henry knows that means Arsenal find it hard to compete with the battled-hardened stars of of United, Liverpool and Chelsea, but he is confident the policy will paid dividends in the future.
"It is more difficult to achieve success without money, but it's not impossible with the right attitude," Henry said.
"Just look at Barcelona. We won the treble this year and proved you can succeed by developing your own players and blending them with one or two expensive signings.
"Arsenal are trying to do the same thing and are very close to achieving their ambitions. Yes, they are still a very young team. But they are not inexperienced.
"They have been playing together for quite a while and are capable of anything."